Stands featuring the most renowned craft beer brands are the hosts inviting enthusiasts of this beverage to taste all the options and specialties.
Like other cities in southern Chile, Frutillar contains a large German colony and at present it celebrates its own beer festival. Every summer, everything is joy, music and tasting of the various flavors of this delicious craft beverage for three days early in February. It was in Germany that the custom of drinking craft beer spread. Master brewers mixed wort, hop and barley with yeast and mountain water using different proportions to manage unmistakable tastes and varieties. Holding this information in our minds, we toured around the different stalls at Club Deportivo Estrella as we enjoyed a beautiful day in the open air. While sitting at one of the neatly organized tables on the impeccable grass where soccer is usually played, we heard someone say “¡Salud! Prost!” on the stage and then good music followed.
Twenty breweries gathered for the festival and offered their best production in their exquisite varieties. As it is all a matter of taste, we chose to began with the lightest beers. Once we gained confidence, we tasted the stronger beverages. We were offered all the varieties, even the ones whose taste was unusual to us, like those containing berries or barley with different roasting degrees. Whether bottled or draft, we certainly preferred those in which berries (Chilean myrtle fruit, raspberry and strawberry) and honey had been added in different proportions. A wide array of offer was also available at the food stands. We chose to taste the classic German sausage, served with or without chucrut. The fantastic kuchen typical of this district was a must. We had a chat with the representatives of some traditional beer brands made in Puerto Varas, Frutillar and Valdivia in order to hear their opinion about this festival and we noticed that they all agreed on certain matters. The first one was that in addition to the cereal ingredients, they all use water of excellent quality extracted from deep in the ground. The next one was the need to keep on crafting beer in a natural way, discarding all industrialization processes. The third one was that getting together has helped them join criteria to hold fairs and festivals of this kind, see the acceptance of the public and think about developing a beer road for tourists. It was interesting to see that there is also a perfect combination between beer and food, just like what happens with wine. Though there is no strict rule, more and more people are choosing a good 100% craft natural beer to accompany gourmet dishes. The essential idea of the festival is to represent a gathering for the entire family. Therefore, children have their own playground, space to run around and non-alcoholic beverages are served for them. The strong joyful sound of rock and cumbia music came from the stage and some people dared to take their first dancing steps on the grass. Soon everyone was moving. The best known and applauded bands in vogue followed one another on the stage to turn this into the best dancing festival in the summer. The same greeting -“¡Salud! Prost!”- bade us farewell from the Erstes Bierfest promising to see us the following year.